Buying an espresso machine (and we mean a real, shot-pulling espresso machine) can take months of research and sourcing before committing. A good machine doesn’t come on the cheap, but if you add up those $4.95 lattes, the investment pays off in just a few months. There’s always the easy route of coffee pods and push-button machines or the stovetop Bialetti, but when you’re ready to graduate to the big time, here’s a list of can’t-go-wrong classic machines.
We’ve polled our own group and cross-checked our picks with reviews from New York Magazine, Business Insider, and Gear Patrol for the ultimate list. But first, a quick glossary of terms to know:
Manual espresso machines are more complicated and require users to manually push water through the coffee rather than maintaining consisting pressure on their own.
Semi-Automatic machines are more common, with the 1938-introduced electric pump for consistent water pressure that can be turned on or off by the user. Boiler temperature controls are automated on these machines.
Fully-Automatic machines have all the features of a semi-automatic maker but will also electronically regulate the amount of water passing through the espresso.
A PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) in an espresso maker is essentially an integrated algorithm to monitor temperature stability and control for consistent espresso shots. Unless you are prepared to monitor those temperature levels perfectly yourself, finding an espresso machine with a PID is worth the added cost.
Shopping for more kitchen appliances? See our posts:
- 10 Easy Pieces: Coffee Grinders
- 10 Easy Pieces: Grain Mills
- 10 Easy Pieces: Toaster Ovens
- 10 Easy Pieces: Compact Vertical Toaster Ovens from Japan
- 10 Easy Pieces: Compact Refrigerators
- 10 Easy Pieces: Compact Cooking Appliances
- 10 Easy Pieces: Countertop Microwaves
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